As gas prices steadily rise, students may begin to struggle to make ends meet.
Gas prices have been on a rollercoaster ride since 2020. Most college students are working on top of going to class in order to live comfortably. While still working, most students only have a part-time job in order to focus on their studies.
As students don’t have time to work enough to keep up with the rising gas prices, more are becoming worried about what they are going to do when the prices get too high to afford.
“It’s hard for me to spend $10-$15 more than what I was already paying for gas,” said Tyree Hale, a freshman general education major from Riverton.
College students already have other expenses they have to pay besides gas, including tuition, food, rent, etc. If the increased gas prices have reduced students’ food budget, then they can go to the food pantry located in the Kenneth N. Gardner Student Center.
It’s gotten so bad in Beaumont, Texas, that students from Lamar University are being forced to choose between driving to their internships or paying for gas.
Students across the country are turning to online classes to avoid the increased gas prices. Dixie State University offers summer, spring and fall online classes, but there is no other discussion on what help will be offered to students if gas prices continue to rise.
Students often live on a limited budget and there isn’t much flexibility on what they can spend their money on. They may have the money to pay for gas but it would be in place of something more important or at higher costs.
“It’s not that I don’t have enough money to pay for gas, but it’s hard when there are other things that I do need to pay for that cost a lot,” Hale said. “Needing to pay for gas on top of those things doesn’t seem possible.”
As prices continue to increase there are alternative transportation methods students can turn to so they can avoid needing to buy gas.
“Some students may not be aware that they can ride the SunTran for free with their student ID card,” said Ali Threet, assistant vice president and dean of students. “It may not be nearly as convenient, but it is definitely an option.”
The SunTran has seven scheduled routes that travel all over St. George. The Riverside route goes right by DSU. Those students who may live further away or traveling can also get a discount with the St. George Shuttle.
In addition to the SunTran, St. George is a bike friendly city. Threet said buying a bike might be more expensive short term but cheaper long term. If students cannot afford a bike, they can talk to Threet and determine if funding is available for them.
“In order to avoid spending money on gas, I ride my electric scooter to school and work,” said Alexander Andersen, a senior communication studies major from Los Angeles. “Gas prices are so high; I’m also contemplating selling my car to get a more fuel efficient vehicle like a motorcycle.”
Considering all the alternative transportation methods students have, there should always be a way for them to get to campus for class.